Abortion Law Reforms and Cognitive Abilities of Teens in Romania
42 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 17, 2017
We exploit the drastic liberalization of abortion laws in Romania in 1989 to examine long-term unintended consequences of abortion law reforms for the educational performance of children. Using test scores from PISA surveys conducted among the 1990, 1993, and 1996 birth cohorts, we employ a before-after strategy and a differences-in-differences approach to identify the effect of abortion law liberalization on children’s cognitive abilities. Children born under a liberal abortion policy score significantly higher on tests, with the effects being higher in reading and science scores. Children born after abortion law liberalization are also more likely to attend an academic high school compared to those born under the old abortion law. Boys and children born in rural areas are more likely to benefit from the liberalization of abortion law. These outcomes can mainly be explained by the fact that these children were more likely to have been planned and wanted at the time of conception.
Keywords: Abortion Law, School Performance, Romania
JEL Classification: J13, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation